The Virumaa province in northeast Estonia is the area with the biggest concentration of ‘Hanseatic bowl’ finds in Europe. The finds originate mostly from deposits, often consisting of sets of numerous items. This article suggests a connection between these finds and the Danish crusade to Estonia in 1219, interpreting the bowls as the king’s gift to new subjects for their loyalty, also looking at a possible broader context, and drawing hypothetical parallels with the Danish crusade to Samland and Prussia in 1210.
Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 33 (2016): Verbum movet, exemplum trahit. The Emerging Christian Community in the Eastern Baltic = Verbum movet, exemplum trahit. Krikščioniškosios bendruomenės tapsmas Rytų Baltijos regione, pp. 47–71
The paper deals with the relationship between Christianisation and the pastoral care in the first Christian Balt communities on the east Baltic coast during the period of the Crusades. It has to be noted that at the turn of and throughout the 13th century, Christian missions were influenced by the attitudes of the new religious movements of the 12th and 13th centuries proclaiming the ‘humanisation’ of the idea of God, and the efforts of the human soul to seek the ‘individualisation’ of salvation. Given these ideas, the paper analyses the forms in which Christianity spread in the Baltic communities, and the impact the inception of the Crusades had on these communities. The research proves that the spread of Christianity took place not only in a ‘theologised’ and therefore ‘difficult’ to understand form, but also in common, knightly (during the Crusades), and other forms of piety. These forms unfolded through the Christian missions and the pastoral care that were carried out in parallel, so that they functioned in the first Christian Balt communities in the 13th century.
The reception of the ideology of the 13th–14th c. Crusades on the Eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, the ideological imperatives of the Holy War, and their reflections in the Chronicle of Peter of Dusburg, one of the most famous chroniclers of the conquest of the Baltic tribes, are analyzed in the article. Even though lately the said Chronicle has been paid great attention to in foreign historiography, in Lithuanian historiography the rhetoric of the Holy War, related to the particular example of the Battle of Durbė, has not been analyzed so far. Moreover, the assessment of the spread of Christian missions in the contexts of the battle of Durbė, as well as its activeness, dynamics, and the relation to the Crusades, have not been analyzed, either.